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Noelle Dronen

Holistic Farmer

About Me

Our farm garden is built on sandy soil and framed by trees - mostly conifers, though there is an Old Growth "Mama Oak" in the woods, a scattering of fruit trees, and some Maples who have been very generously sharing their sap with us over the last few winters.  We get lots of visits from wild turkeys, hummingbirds, and, for better or worse, woodchucks and rabbits.

Using a combination of mulches, composted manure, foliar sprays, cover crops, and minimal tillage, we have already come a long way in building up the health, vitality, and organic matter of our soil.  Though not certified Organic, we abide by the organic standards, use no synthetic chemicals, and do our best to get what inputs we need (seeds, manure, soil mixes) from sources we trust.  We're excited to continue learning and experimenting - this is a lifelong pursuit - and draw our techniques and our ethics from a number of farmers, philosophers, and personal mentors we admire.  We're quite happy to talk to people about our approach; we geek out on it, in fact!

Inspired to live simply (and playfully) and share our abundance, we've been making a livelihood at this place we call NOKA for 7 years now.  2022 marks the sixth year of our CSA here.  Farmer Noelle has been farming for over 12 years, splitting that time between Washington and Michigan, and picking up knowledge and skills from several farms, ranging from a small-scale biointensive operation to a 40 acre CSA with over 300 members.  The NOKA CSA is a great opportunity to blend those experiences -  the practices, the efficiencies, the values - into an approach that fits well with our land and our lives.

We continue to cultivate our skills in farming, carpentry, food preservation, beekeeping, herbalism, and wildcrafting.  We also enjoy running, playing music, writing, and eating our weight in popcorn.

Areas of Expertise

Market Gardening
Permaculture Education
Soil Health
Composting
Food Preservation
Beekeeping
Herbalism
  • a red chili pepper on a plant with green leaves, a close up of a red pepper plant.

    Peppers

    From dense blocky bells to the tapered bull’s horn varieties, from padrons to shishitos, from candy-sweet to sweat-inducingly spicy, the…
  • lush green wall of plentiful peas growing vertical trellis

    Sweet Pea

    Crisp, sweet, and especially delicious when homegrown, peas are an excellent addition to the garden. Not only do the plants…
  • fresh harvested beetroots

    Beets

    “The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish…
  • harvesting. gardener holding a bunch of fresh white and purple g

    Garlic

    The act of planting garlic is a hopeful one, a commitment to a seed, a piece of ground, and the…
  • fresh radish harvest on soil in garden.

    Radish

    Each Spring, radishes deliver us from the land of salad greenery (spinach, arugula, lettuce, kale, etc) into the wide world…
  • carrots

    Carrot

    Is there a more universally appreciated vegetable? I can’t think of one! The carrots we eat today are domesticated versions…
  • colorful coneflowers (echinacea purpurea) with a green garden so

    Echinacea

    Echinacea is a captivating perennial wildflower that has made a name for itself in nurseries and home gardens alike. This…
  • mulch for vegetable garden

    Guide to Using Mulch for the Vegetable Garden

    What is Mulch? Mulch is any material used to cover the ground in a garden, farm, or landscaping scenario. These…
  • burr and bee

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  • lush green leaves of common comfrey for natural gren background, also called symphytum officinale or beinwell

    Comfrey

    Plants want to live. I find comfort in this idea a lot. When I’m certain I’ve killed something in the…
  • gooseberry branch with ripe berries

    Gooseberry

    The Gooseberry is another example of an edible plant that makes one wonder, Who was the first person who decided…
  • green carpet of bright clover leaves

    Clover

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  • Elderberry

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